Saturday, September 26, 2009

Part 3 - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

The Lower Geyser Basin

(all photos will enlarge when clicked on)

When my husband and I entered Yellowstone National Park, on our third and final day, we spent the majority of the third day in what we thought was the most fascinating and interesting areas of the park --the Lower Geyser basin, the Upper Geyser Basin, the Black Sand Basin and the Biscuit Basins. The photo above is the view of the lower geyser basin that we saw from the road in the early morning light. The steam was rising off the hot pools and geysers reminding us that we were on top of a caldera. A caldera is formed from explosive super eruptions and it can be as wide and deep as mid- to large-sized lakes, and can be responsible for destroying broad swaths of mountain ranges. It is literally the top of a volcano. Some very interesting geological videos about the caldera area of Yellowstone can be seen at this link. Two thirds of the geysers in the world are located in Yellowstone National Park, which also contains the largest geothermal phenomena in the world!

Anxious to see the famous Old Faithful Geyser, which is the most photographed feature in the park, we drove over to the Upper Geyser Basin. A historic White Motor Company Yellowstone tour bus can be seen in the photo above, in front of the Old Faithful Inn. A Youtube video about the buses can be seen at this link.

The beautiful Old Faithful Inn was built in 1903-04 and designed by R. C. Reamer. Wings were added to the hotel in 1915 and 1927, and today there are 327 rooms available to guests in this National Historic Landmark

The lobby of the hotel features a 65-foot ceiling, a massive lava stone fireplace, and railings made of contorted lodgepole pine. It really is a sight to see!

The spectacular Old Faithful Inn is within short viewing distance of Old Faithful Geyser

Information about Old Faithful Geyser

Old faithful erupts more frequently than any of the big geysers, although it is not the biggest or most regular geyser in the park. As of now it erupts about every 90 minutes.

It attracts a large crowd of spectators! Everyone gathers and waits around the geyser as it gets close to the predicted eruption.

And there it is! Old faithful Geyser was named in 1870 by a surveyor H.D. Washburn. Its eruption height varies from 106 to 184 feet, every 90 minutes. The temperature before eruption is 240 degrees Fahrenheit, and during eruption between 3,700 to 8, 400 gallons of water are discharged.

The geyser basins have boardwalk paths to allow for safe and easy viewing.

I'd like to show you just a few of the many geysers, springs, pools and fumarole hydrothermal features in Yellowstone.

The Grand Geyser

The Grand Geyser is the tallest predictable geyser in the world, erupting every 7- 15 hours. An average eruption lasts 9 -12 minutes and it can reach 200 feet in height!
The Riverside Geyser, by the Firehole River

The Riverside Geyser erupts at seven hour intervals to a height of 75 feet, for a 20 minute duration.

The Castle Geyser

The Castle Geyser is attracts a crowd because of its energy that erupts steam with a roars like a train. Erupting every 11-13 hours, Castle shoots water 70-80 feet into the air from its over 30 feet tall cone.
The Morning Glory Pool

The Morning Glory Pool is one of the more popular springs in the Upper Basin. The pool was named for the morning glory flower because of its brilliance.
The Sapphire Pool. Biscuit Basin

Three miles north of Old Faithful is Biscuit Basin, named for the unusual biscuit-like deposits formerly surrounding Sapphire Pool. Following the 1959 Hebgen Lake earthquake, Sapphire erupted, and the "biscuits" were blown away.
Grand Prismatic Spring, Midway Geyser Basin

The Grand Prismatic is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone, and is considered to be the third largest in the world-New Zealand has the two largest springs. The Hayden Expedition in 1871 named this spring because of its beautiful coloration.
Excelsior Geyser, Midway Geyser Basin
Excelsior was once the largest geyser in the world. However, the last known major eruptions occurred during the 1880's, when there were numerous eruptions up to 300 feet. Those eruptions may have burned out its core and Excelsior is now a productive thermal spring, presently discharging 4050 gallons per minute. Numerous vents boil and churn the water within the crater, covering it in a dense layer of steam.

White Dome Geyser, Lower Basin
The White Dome geyser's 12-foot-high cone is one of the largest in the park. Its eruptions are unpredictable, but generally occur with intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 3 hours with intervals between 20 and 35 minutes. Eruptions typically last 2 to 3 minutes and reach heights of about 30 feet.
The Fishing Cone, West Thumb Geyser Basin

This is one of the most famous hydrothermal formations in the West Thumb Lake. The name Fishing Cone can be traced back to tales told by mountain men of a lake where you could catch a fish from the lake then immediately dunk it into hot spring and cook it on the hook. Fishing is now prohibited.
I am linking this post to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound blog's Pink Saturday event, and up to now everyone must have been wondering what was the pink in this post?
I found this pretty pink Yellowstone souvenir merchandise at the Grant Village store next to the East Thumb Lake. I immediately thought of Beverly when I saw this grouping! Thanks, Beverly, for always making me look for pink in the world!
I was also lucky to come across this majestic male elk as we headed back to our hotel for the evening. He was leading his family down to the river for an evening drink.

Elk are the most abundant of the large mammals of Yellowstone National Park.

The male uses his massive antler to fight other males during the mating season. It falls off annually in the late winter or early spring and then he grows a new set.

As the sun set we sadly said goodbye to Yellowstone National Park, as our time here was over.
It is such a beautiful and enormous park that we know we saw just a small portion of it and we hope to return again to see more someday. It is truly one of our country's special treasures.

I am looking forward to viewing the first segment of the Ken Burns special on PBS this weekend called "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," which will air September 27 through October 2 --- check your local stations for your viewing area's time.
My Yellowstone National Parks posts Part One can be found here --- Part Two here


RoeH said...

You're making me soooooooooo homesick. I grew up about 75 miles west of Yellowstone in Idaho. I love that country and Yellowstons is not to be believed until you see it. One of the best times I ever had in Yellowstone was when my sister went over there from Idaho (1981? 83?) and stayed for a week at the Old Faithful Lodge. Never gets tiring. I was going to go last August with my cousin but the trip fizzled out. My mom was born on the Idaho side of the Tetons in Teton, Idaho. What a beautiful site there.

Joyce said...

Lucky you to see that male elk. I have always wanted to take a vacation there when we lived in California but never seemed to go. Thanks for sharing your photos with all the fun facts.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Wow that lodge is amazing and that elk - magnificent. Such great photos of a fabulous vacation.

Anonymous said...

We have made two trips to Yellowstone, our first trip took almost 3 days to try to see everything! It is truly an amazing place...I can't wait to see the PBS Series with Ken Burns that starts this Sunday. The first park featured will be Yellowstone :-)

Love your photos, makes me want to go again!!!!

Unknown said...

What a gorgeous place. Seeing those elk must have taken your breath away. Looks like an incredible place to visit.

happyone said...

More great photos of a fabulous vacation.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Your photos are wonderful. We haven't been to Yellowstone recently. You brought back some wonderful memories. I hope you are having a wonderful Pink Saturday.

Gabriela said...


What a fabulous trip, amazing places and photos!

~ Gabriela ~

Susie Jefferson said...

The elks look to be in the pink as well, lol.

Well, I never knew all that about Yellowstone Park and geysers etc - the sheer variety and the colours! Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing and such wonderful and detailed photographs.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Judy said...

What a great post of Yellowstone, Pat! Your pictures are fabulous. We visited the park a few years back...and the biggest surprise for me was the crowds of people. Somehow all the pictures I had ever seen of Old Faithful were taken without the masses of spectators...and I never expected to see that many people. But they are all there for good's a park worth visiting!

Thanks for the tip about the PBS specials coming up.

Anonymous said...

Wow Pat those should be award winning photographs. That was as good as a lot of I have on TV, no motion, but the pictures and your descriptions were, just Wow.
I have never been out west and I would so love to go.

Susie Q said...

I have so enjoyed all of your trip photos Pat. I long to retunr to this part of America but, fo rnow, I am taking this journey along with you!
What amazing sights you saw!
Thank you for sharing it all...

Proud Italian Cook said...

Beautiful photo's Pat, just viewed them all with my hubby. We too are looking forward to seeing the PPS special tomarow.

Beverly said...

Pat, I have thoroughly enjoyed your Yellowstone series. And, the music was soothing. A perfect way to begin my day.

You made me smile about seeing pink in the world. It is in some quite unexpected places, and it always gives me a smile.

Happy Pink Saturday, dear friend.

CatHerder said...

wow. i would love to go ASSUMING wilderness lodge in disney is modeled after this...thats the closest i have gotten lol! beautiful pics

steviewren said...

Pat, I just finished catching up on your whole trip out west. I've never seen anything like everything you and hubby saw. I was fascinated by the geysers and the Badlands especially. Your pictures are wonderful. Like you, I would have an awful time deciding which ones to post. I bet they are all wonderful. Your little L is so cute! I know you loved getting to spend time with him. Thanks for taking me along on your trip. I enjoyed it.

Regina said...

Great place! Such amazing captures.

Marina Capano said...

Amazing!!!!!Stunning and awesome place!

thanks for sharing with us!


Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

Oh Pat, these are wonderful pics ! I really enjoyed the tour with you !! Thanks so much !

Lynn said...

The first year of retirement, when school started (Sept 5th), we headed for Yellowstone. It snowed!

Sue said...

Pat, I showed all your pictures to the hubs and I think he'd like to make a trip out to Yellowstone next year. The area is beautiful and I would love to see it in person. Thanks so much for showing it to us! hugs, Sue

Lorrie said...

Oh Pat I so enjoyed this post and your photos. My husband and I visited Yellowstone on our honeymoon and then we were fortunate enough to go back about 15 years ago with our three kids. Seeing these pictures brings back such wonderful memories. It's a spectacular park.

Sue said...

Hi Pat....that lobby of the hotel is amazing...what a gorgeous stone fireplace....your pictures as usual are great...I never have to leave my living do all the traveling for me....and love the shots of the big Elk...he wold look good hanging in my great room along with the Moose head and the 2 Deer.....Wait quick....Call Peta!!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing place Pat. I wonder if the blue is caused by copper? I visited a place in Dorset called "Blue Pool" which was caused by copper.

That lodge is gorgeous. I love all that natural wood.

Oh wow you managed to pic a male elk! Well done you mustve been so excited. He reminds me of the magestic deer up in Scotland they use their antlers in a similar way during the rutt.

GMG said...

I'm stunned!! Awesome pictures. Just have a look at these lousy ones to see how it was in August 1982... ;)

wilbo43 said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I am impressed with your pics of Yellowstone NP. We've just been watching an excellent BBC show on Yellowstone Park here on TV. That's one place that is on our Bucket List, thanks for showing us these pics.

Tracy Watier said...

Wow Pat! These Yellowstone posts are fantastic! I'm so overwhelmed just looking at all your photos, how did you even stand it in person! That's why it's taken me so long to comment. I'd go back and look and read more and try to absorb it all. There's so much natural beauty in our country (and plenty of man-made too like the inn and the arch you visited), that I really have very little desire to travel abroad until I've seen my fill of the US. I'd better get to planning! Thanks for the push!

dana said...

I have so many of your wonderful posts to catch up on, Pat. I, too, have been busy. . . this time of the year I participate in sales where I peddle my wares (handmade and vintage). Out of 4 weekends, I've had 3 sales. I have 2 in Oct. Anyway, I love how you found PINK while visiting Yellowstone. I've always wanted to visit that place. The last few evenings, our local PBS station has been featuring the history of our national parks. It is so interesting to learn about their background, but it would be even more interesting to visit them in person!

Your little Leo is the photo of him crawling off with his cowboy hat on!

Hope all is well with you. I look forward to having more time, very soon, so I can catch up on all of your posts. OMG, that Fig Tart looks awesome!!

L, dana

GailO said...

How appropriate that I read this as I am watching the PBS puts a personal spin on the tv show. I also just watched a Martha Stewart show with Ken Burns as a guest and lots of footage from a trip Martha made to Yellowstone...of course that was beautiful too...

Vee said...

Okay, I'll be hauling John in for this one. :D Yellowstone is something I never thought I'd enjoy seeing. I think that I have officially changed my mind based upon this post. Thank you!